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p. 132. Fear of the dark?: blacks, Jews, and barbarianslocked

  • Ali Rattansi


The concept of race long preceded the invention of the term. The idea that human biological characteristics such as skin colour, facial features, hair, and skull size were associated with ingrained cultural and behavioural traits was well established. It was even thought that the level of ability to use reason, capacity for ‘civilization’, and the arts could all be measured by appearance. ‘Fear of the dark?: blacks, Jews, and barbarians’ charts the history of these racial ideas through various ages and geographical areas including the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, China, South Asia, and the Middle East.

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